Reviewing my 2011 New Release Purchases


31 déc. 2011, 20h30m

For the first time in many years, I actually bought quite a few (i.e. more than one) new releases in music in 2011. So, I figured this was an opportunity to add a new entry to my highly neglected journal page. Now obviously this is not going to be an extensive list of all of 2011's releases as it will include only the six that I bought. If you want a more extensive review of the year, you'll have to go to some other blog written by a pretentious music snob who thinks he knows everything. (I kid, I kid. I tease because I love.) Okay so without further ado, let's get started.

First, with an honourary mention. Disturbed - The Lost Children is a 2011 release but is merely a collection of material previously released exclusively on movie soundtracks or other such compilations. As a big fan of the band, I was excited for this disc as I could now hear these tracks in my car and not only from my collection of mp3s on my laptop. Love it.

Okay, so on to the actual 2011 releases of new material, in descending order.

5. Chickenfoot - III
This illogically-named second release from the supergroup is, honestly, a slight disappointment. There are some good rock songs here, don't get me wrong, but only a couple of the tracks really stand out, such as Up Next, Three And A Half Letters, and Big Foot. Frankly, I expected better from this collection of talent after their debut release a couple years ago.

4. Big Sugar - Revolution Per Minute
Big Sugar is BACK! Woohoo! After a long breakup where Gordie Johnson took off to Texas to do his thing with Grady (which also kicked ass, by the way) he finally came back to Canada and reformed the band he is best associated with. And their reunion album does not disappoint! All the songs are great and reminiscent of the characteristic style of Big Sugar of old. Standout tracks include Counterfeit Wings (Are Some Jive Ass Wings), LITTLE BIT A ALL RIGHT, There's No Tellin' Me, IF I WERE HEAVEN (TONIGHT)... hell, I could go on and list the entire album.

3. MonkeyJunk - To Behold
This blues trio from Ottawa has caught the attention of the international blues community and with good reason. Their second album is a fantastic follow-up to 2009's Tiger In Your Tank. The trio has thrown together more original material on this album, including only one cover this time around, and have added harmonised vocals to their repertoire. Tony D's guitar work is a joy to listen to and Steve Marriner remains a powerhouse on the harmonica. For evidence of that, look no further than the aptly named instrumental The Marrinator. Other favourites from the disc include Right Now, You Don't Know and Running In The Rain. Highly recommend both of MonkeyJunk's albums to any and all blues aficionados!

2. Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
Now this was a fun surprise. I was excited that the hip hop trio were releasing a new album, especially after MCA's recent bout with cancer, but honestly did not expect much from it. I was blown away! The disc has a bunch of really fun tracks, and there are no bad ones to drag the album down. Favourites include Make Some Noise, Ok, Funky Donkey and the awesome instrumental Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament. Welcome back, Beasties!

And finally, my favourite release of 2011 is...

1. Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events
Those of you who know me will not be surprised with this selection. This album has not vacated my car's CD player since release day and I will talk about it to anyone who won't shut me up. Each time I spin this disc, I wish I could go back to October when I saw the band perform live in Montreal; it was such a fun day and night, filled with awesome jaw-dropping performances and newly formed friendships. Back to the album... John Petrucci's guitar, John Myung's bass, Jordan Rudess's keyboards, James LaBrie's vocals, and newcomer Mike Mangini's drums, they all come together flawlessly on most, if not all, of this album's tracks. From the opening track, On the Backs of Angels, and the anti-celebrity anthem Build Me Up, Break Me Down, to the all-out metal tracks like Breaking All Illusions and Bridges in the Sky, to the haunting ballad, Beneath the Surface. Not a bad track to be found on this disc. Nothing gets skipped and many get repeated... often! Definitely my favourite album of the year!

So that's it. Thanks for reading!


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